Breast screening (mammography) is an x-ray examination of the breasts which can show small changes in the breast before there are any other signs or symptoms.
All women aged between 50 and 70 are automatically invited for breast screening every three years. Women are invited via their doctors’ practices in turn so they will not necessarily get their invitation in the year that they turn 50. Provided they are registered with a doctor, women are invited before their 53rd birthday. As breast cancer risk increases with age, women over the age of 70 who are not automatically invited, are still encouraged to attend breast screening and need to contact the unit to make an appointment (01494 425689). The NHS is also beginning to extend the age range to include both younger and older women onto the programme so you may in future receive an invitation if you are outside this age range.
The screening will take place either in the hospital or in a mobile unit, which generally is located centrally to the town.
Once the x-rays are taken they are processed and reported on by two qualified clinicians. Generally the results should be available within two weeks but occasionally women are called back because the appearance on the x-ray suggest that more tests are needed. However most women will not have any problems and will be called again in three years time.
For further information regarding breast screening please visit: www.buckshealthcare.nhs.uk or contact the breast screening team on (01494) 425689.